Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trusting God...

And so, Part 3 begins......this is new ground for me, so please bear with me and forgive me if I stir up thoughts and/or emotions that might make you re-consider your views of this subject in a new way.

We started with the word Trust....then moved to Trusting Ourselves....and now, let's explore what it means to Trust God.  Yes, God.  The Creator of the Universe.  As some people say, a Higher Power.

First, do we believe God exists?  And, if so, what do we believe about God?  Do we believe He loves us, cares for us, guides us, heals us, and brings us joy?  Or, do we believe God is evasive, illusive, unforgiving, and difficult to talk to?  How about a Divine Genie who grants wishes?  Whatever your belief, consider expanding your horizon and looking at God from a new perspective.

Think on these words:  Omnipotent....a God who has unlimited power and authority.  Omnipresent... a God who is present everywhere....Omniscient...a God who has total knowledge.
Would you want to have a God like this on your side or prefer to ignore the evidence of this awesome Higher Power?

And, consider these definitions, too:  Awesome....inspiring awe - an emotion of mingled reverence, dread, and wonder.  Ask yourself:  do you feel awe for God or dread?  If it is dread, I hope you will open up your heart to find a very loving, caring, giving God.  One that you can feel awe for and revere.  Open your heart to find the wonder of His existence and Majesty.
Next, consider Divine....heavenly, magnificent, or supremely good.  Would this be your definition of God? 
If not, go outside tomorrow and listen to the birds as the morning a sunset........put your toes in the sand and watch the ocean....smell the fragrance of a meadow of wildflowers or a rose.
And, finally, years ago, I came upon this definition from a 12 Step program:  God as we understand Him.  A loving God.  A caring God.  The God of our recovery.  I like that definition.  And yet, as my faith has developed and grown, I have found there is a much higher calling for who God truly is.  And, I have found that so many people I meet need to explore news ways of thinking about God and/or finding God, perhaps for the very first time.

What image does the word "God" bring up for you?  Have you ever really explored your ideas of who God is and why?  Has your faith grown dramatically over the years, or have you been on cruise control most of your life? 

Interestingly enough, trusting God or learning to trust God may be a very provocative journey for some of us based on our family of origin and life's experiences.  I feel I have been very "lucky" and blessed to have been given a heritage of faith.  My mom and my grandparents had an extremely deep faith in God and passed those beliefs on to me.  I am truly grateful for that beginning, but I must admit, my faith has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years as I have explored a God whom I understand.

Trusting God has become my number one goal.  As I study His Word, the Bible each day, I find that trusting God is a key element to my faith growing and developing.  He asks us to Trust Him in every detail of our lives. Trust Him and don't be afraid.  Trust Him moment by moment. Trust Him in all our thoughts.  Trust Him in the depths of our being.  Trust Him with our decisions.  Trust Him with our finances.  Trust Him with our children and/or families.  Trust Him with our jobs.  Trust Him with our relationships.  Trust Him, lean on Him, depend on Him, come to Him, and allow Him to enter our hearts. 

Somewhere out there, there is an old adage that says:  "God helps those who help themselves."  Do you
believe that?  My mom did!!!  As most of you know, I loved my mom dearly.  She was one of the most loving, giving and self-sacrificing mother that ever lived on the face of this earth.  She was also one of the most self-sufficient and self-reliant people I know!!!  Fiercely independent, too!  Ask yourself:  do you try to do everything in your own strength and power?  Are you self-sufficient and/or self-reliant?  Independent?  Do you rely completely on yourself - so much so that you won't allow anyone to help you?
Well, guess what???  That old adage is Greek Mythology.  It come from Hercules!!!  Yep!  A myth, not a fact or a admonishment from the Lord.  There is not ONE verse in the Bible that says:  "Do it all yourself!"  Instead, we find that God asks us to trust Him with all of our lives......not some, not part, not most, but ALL of our lives.....would you consider laying down your self-sufficiency for a little TRUST???

What is really interesting, is that I have fought the fight of self-sufficiency myself for a long, long time.  Some battles I have won.  Some I have not.  I have displayed self-sufficiency to the nth degree in some ways and I am not saying that to boast.  I am saying it because of the God as I understand Him, and the God that I am learning to trust.  I am learning to rely on the God of the Universe who created me and wants me to learn His ways, His paths, His thoughts, and find His strength in every task.

One great verse in the Old Testament of the Bible is Proverbs 3: 5-6.  It says:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Look to Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight." 

Acknowledge Him. Revere Him.  Get to know Him by studying His Word.  Trust Him with all of your heart.  It will be worth it.  I promise.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Trusting Ourselves....

Well, here is Part 2 on trust, as I am reminded by several responses to the first blog on the concept of trust that trusting ourselves is a key component as well to the concept of trust.

Melody Beattie (one of my favorite authors) in her book "The Language of Letting Go" reminds us that trust can be one of the most confusing concepts in recovery from life!  She has helped me to realize that learning to trust myself is one of the most important issues that I can face on a daily basis.  Many of us don't trust ourselves enough, so we go around asking other people what they think about a certain issue or topic.  We don't think we are smart enough or have enough experience to trust ourselves.  Or perhaps, we have made several mistakes in the past that have had monumental consequences, so we just don't want to take that chance again.  Think about that though - did you learn from the mistake?  Did you grow from that mistake?  Are you willing to try something new or take a different point of view based on the outcome of the past mistake?  Many times, we just need to realize that we need to slow down and have patience in making decisions or in thinking before we take action.  As you may imagine, patience is not my biggest virtue!  However, over the past 14 years, I have learned many, many things and waiting is one of the things I have asked God to teach me how to do.  It has been a hard lesson, but a very, very good one!  
I am learning to trust my own judgement now more than ever.  I used to think everyone else was smarter than me, or had more experience than I had in a particular area, or just "knew" better that I did.  Certainly, there are experts in various fields that can help us along the way, but in the basic things of life, we need to learn to trust ourselves.  Yes, it may be prudent to ask someone else how to build a deck or put on a new roof, but when it comes to matters of the  heart, you are the only one who truly knows your own heart.  Listen to that still, small voice in your head and your heart.  What is your heart saying?

I know that many people may have had trust issues in the past with a sibling, parent, spouse or someone very important in their life.  I do not mean to diminish that situation or experience.  Some people really should NOT be trusted.  Trust your instincts if that is the case!  However, did someone tell you that you could not trust yourself?  If so, did you believe them because they were older than you?  Smarter than you?  Or, because you did not realize you had the opportunity to trust yourself yet?  The process of growing up sometimes holds tenuous moments of learning things on our own.  Sometimes, we just need to learn that we CAN trust ourselves.  We ARE smart enough.  We DO have enough experience to make this decision or make that choice.  Trust is a process that we LEARN. 
Just as babies trust their parents and/or caregivers to give them the nourishment that they need, so we need to learn to trust our instincts, our thoughts, our opinions.  Not everyone else is smarter than we are.  Honestly.

And, some may be dealing with an issue right now that is detrimental to their lives or have been betrayed by someone they truly thought was on our side.  Acknowledge that betrayal.  Carefront that issue with yourself and with that person, if possible.  Then, move on, move forward.  Offer forgiveness, if possible.  And, don't forget to forgive yourself if you have made a mistake or two in the past.  We all do..........that's how we grow and learn!!!
When we learn to trust ourselves, it is a very wonderful feeling - it is also a gift that heals our heart.  Sometimes we make mistakes....sometimes we need to change our mind.......sometimes we need to re-think a decision or a relationship based on new information.  We really DO know in our hearts what is best for us - we really CAN rely on ourselves to make good decisions.  We really can trust that we will come to know the right answer for us in time.  Ask for guidance in your prayers - ask God to show you the way, then use the answers you find to move forward.  Use your own judgement as to whether or not something is right for you.  You can rely on yourself........really!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


On a quiet Sunday afternoon, I sit pondering the concept of trust.  It is defined as a firm reliance or confident belief or faith.  A person or thing in which confidence is placed, to rely on, to depend on, and to have hope in.....what is trust to you?  Who can you trust?  When can you really place your trust in something or someone?  When do you "allow" yourself to trust someone???

My brother gave me this analogy once:  Trust is a bit like a bank account.  You build it - one deposit at a time.  Just like deposits in a bank account, you add a little trust each time you do what you say you are going to do.   Or, trust is built when someone ask you to keep something in confidence and you do.  Trust is built over time - it is a process in many doesn't happen overnight.  Sometimes, trust takes a long time to build and other times, it comes more easily or readily. 

I was lucky enough to have parents who were a good source of trust.  My parents loved us kids and did whatever it took to take good care of us and keep us from harm.  They provided a secure home and a safe place to express our feelings.  They disciplined us and taught us right from wrong.  They loved us unconditionally.  I have been blessed. 

Other examples of trust may be:  When you take an elderly neighbor to the doctor and they depend on you to show up on time, drive them to the appointment and take them home.  This builds trust as you take care of their needs and allow them to get there and back safely.
Or, you show up at the hospital room while a friend is waiting for their loved one to come out of surgery or visit when they are recovering from surgery. 
Trust is built when you show up or take your kids to every baseball game, every soccer game, every volleyball game, every swim meet, every theater practice or play, or whatever activity your kids enjoyed growing up! 
Trust is built when you put your kids to bed at night when they are little - they know you are there for them.
Trust is built when your teenage kids know you will take them to dinner every Sunday as promised. 
Trust is built one step at a time, one hug at a time, one listening ear at a time, one reliable instance at a time.

Trustworthy people are truthful, believable and credible.  They follow through, they can be counted on for big things and small things.  They are reliable.  They are honest.  The are humble.  They are dependable. When others seem scarce, a trustworthy person is there for you.  You know you can call that person anytime and they will listen, give you a shoulder to cry on and a heart to depend on.

Learning to trust may be a journey for some who have not had the gift of trustworthy people in their lives.
Trust is a key concept in our lives - one we need to build and refine each day.  In ourselves and in our relationships.  It is a foundation worth building.  Be dependable, be reliable, be faithful in your duties - be that person others can count on!!! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Divine Appointments...

Divine appointments - have you ever had one?  Have you ever met someone that you feel was brought into your life for a reason?  Or, have you done something you have been longing to do and found out that you are being led exactly to what you need at the moment?  Have you been praying for direction, guidance or wisdom about a particular thing in your life and all of a sudden you find yourself right smack in the middle of where you want to be or wanted to do for a very long time?  Perhaps you have noticed that you found the avenue you have been looking for to start a new journey.  Perhaps you just met the right person to catapult you to the next phase of your life or has inspired you to begin a new adventure.  Well, if you have been feeling these feelings or thinking these thoughts, you may have found yourself in the midst of a Divine appointment!!!

A very dear friend of mine named Beth, suggested several months ago that I meet with another friend of hers named Julie.  Beth felt our "creativity" were meant to be together and she was right!

Julie and I have met several times to introduce ourselves and our ideas to one another and an opportunity presented itself to us today!  We took a journey to Timber Ridge Adventure Center off Highway 10 to tour the facility and see if we might like to host a retreat there.  Well, guess what?  We DO!

God's love surrounds us each moment of every day!  His provision is complete and secure.  God cares about the smallest things if we do!  I believe the Lord brought Julie and I together so that we could collaborate to bring fresh, new ideas to other people, particularly women over the age of 50, who want to explore, investigate and discover their strengths and goals as well as learn to refresh their spirit and rejuvenate their souls!!!

Divine - supremely good, majestic, magnificent, heavenly!
Appointment - an arrangement to do something or meet someone.  
These two things came together today!!!  The center is magnificent, serene, and lovely!  A perfect place to host a retreat and to refresh the souls of those who choose to journey with us!!!

Stay tuned...............invitations will be sent!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


My sister, Cathi, gave me a wonderful topic to blog about today = Adventure!!!  Her thoughts got me to thinking and I know she will take her adventure in a different direction than I will, but she has inspired me to new ways of thinking about this thing called "adventure."  (Thank you, Cathi!!!)

What is adventure???  Well, the dictionary definition is:  Taking risks, an unusual or suspenseful experience, a venture, an escapade, a lark!!!  When was the last time you "took" an adventure or viewed life as an "adventure?" 

Be your own hero or heroine and go on an adventure today!  Be a dare-devil to try something new.......plot out a new path........go on a journey even if it is just to the grocery store! 

My mom used to do that and I thought she was crazy!  Here is a true story:  I was home in Ohio one trip and she asked me to accompany her to the grocery, so I got in the car with her and off she goes down the road right past the grocery.  After several minutes, I asked her, "Where are you going?"  She replied:  "To the grocery."  One more question from the peanut gallery (me):  "Did you know it was just down the block from where you live?"  She replied: "Yes."  My reply was:  "So, why are we going in the opposite direction?"  Her reply:  "To look at the neighbor's garden and to see if the trees in the park have blossomed yet!" mom was on an adventure every day of her life!  And, she taught her four kids to do so as well....I believe her six grand kids "journey", too!!!  What fun, what an adventure, what a gift!!!

Now, consider this: is a carefree adventure!  (I think I like that word!!!)
Lark.........even better!  It is a carefree romp or prank!  A spree or mischief!
Venture...a speculative or risky undertaking.  To brave the dangers of.  To express at the risk of denial, criticism or censure.
Venturesome...daring, bold!

Okay, so without getting yourself into TOO much trouble, be BOLD today!  Be venturesome!!  Go on an escapade - dare to be carefree!!! 
Spread a little mischief today wherever you go!!!

And remember, God goes with you and wants you to enjoy the adventure each moment you are alive!!!